Category Archives: Paintings

Painting: Spectrum

I’m back!

Spectrum, acrylic and latex caulk on 11" x 14" canvas, January 20, 2013

Spectrum, acrylic and latex caulk on 11″ x 14″ canvas, January 20, 2013

Spectrum!  Because I am not going to call it ‘rainbow’, grunt, snort, wow that spot on the floor is interesting.  But enough feigning of manly insecurities, the deal with this painting is not so much the spectrum as that it’s my first experiment with using latex caulk as an art media.  It does give it some texture…  This picture with the harsher lighting shows better the blobs of caulk that I painted over.

Spectrum, acrylic and latex caulk on 11" x 14" canvas, January 20, 2013

Spectrum, acrylic and latex caulk on 11″ x 14″ canvas, January 20, 2013

One note on spectrums though — it strikes me as fascinating and unfathomable that the only real difference between colors is frequency and wavelength.  Same difference between the frequencies we see and those we don’t.  Makes you wonder if some kind of neurological manipulation could allow us to further subdivide the visual spectrum and experience more colors.  Colors we cannot even imagine now.  Or going the other direction…  after the singularity I just want gamma-ray eyes, is all I’m sayin’…

On a housekeeping note, I’m changing how I write this blog.  You may have noticed, I’m not going to slavishly post twice a week anymore.  That led to lame posts between paintings I think, and more importantly it was starting to turn blogging, and worse, painting into work.  Not work in the sense of something I get paid to do, but in the sense of house work and yard work — something I’d just rather not do at all.  We don’t want that to happen to painting and blogging do we??  No Zorgs, we don’t!!

One of the best pieces of advice my dad gave me was that the best way to ruin a good hobby is to turn it into work.  And wouldn’t ya know it, that’s exactly what I was doing.  That Cosmic Calendar stuff…  it was a really cool idea when I decided to do it, but wow it got to be a drag in the last days of December.  The irony of this change is not lost on me — I first decided to stick to a biweekly schedule because I wanted the pressure of needing to finish paintings so I’d have something to blog about twice a week, and get more paintings done that way.  But I just don’t think I need that motivator anymore.  Quite the opposite, too much blogging was threatening to kill the blog and the paintings.  Before last weekend I hadn’t painted in about a month.  Just didn’t feel like it.  Tried painting anyway, but just wasn’t having any fun.  I gave up that day after I broke my palette knife.

Until last weekend when suddenly I had five new paintings going all at once!  🙂  This is the first of those.  So now it’s going to be a normal blog and I’ll post when I want to.  Hopefully this will lead to better posts when I do.



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Painting: Alizarin Yuck #1

It’s 12:12 on 12/12/12!  The last such calendrical alignment for 89 years!  (which will be 1:01 on 1/1/2101)  What better way to celebrate than with a newly finished painting!

Alizarin Yuck 1, acrylic on 12x12 canvas, December 6, 2012

Alizarin Yuck 1, acrylic on 12″x12″ canvas, December 6, 2012

Drips, drops, and dots complete this painting adventure nicely.

Alizarin Yuck 1, acrylic on 12x12 canvas, December 6, 2012.  Oooh!  Shiny!

Alizarin Yuck 1, acrylic on 12″x12″ canvas, December 6, 2012. Oooh! Shiny!

Another in-progress shot, before the final drips

Another in-progress shot, before the final drips

More of the alizarin yuck survived on this canvas than did with Alizarin Yuck #2.

Oh blast.  It’s probably at least 12:13 by now…


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Painting: Coalescence

Coalescence, acrylic and spray paint on 2'x2' Masonite panel, December 6, 2012

Coalescence, acrylic and spray paint on 2’x2′ Masonite panel, December 6, 2012

The 2′ x 2′ (61 x 61 cm) Masonite panel is finished!  While the painting of it was mostly about modeling paste and experimenting with texture with palette knife, I called it “Coalescence” because the clumpyness of what emerged here put me in mind of the hydrogen, helium, and lithium atoms that formed in the first few minutes after the big bang, coalescing æons later into gas and stars.  Nothing less than the universe transitioning from an endless expanse of mere atoms, into larger stuff, some of which would eventually become us.

Like wow, that’s deep man.  How do I follow that?  Uhhh, here’s an in-progress shot!  (after the blue, before the yellow):

in progress

in progress



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More progress with the modeling paste painting


Well, I think I’m going to call it “Rotation”. I guess I can let that slip. 🙂  It’s not done yet though!


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Well this painting is done I guess.

The Eleven Have Assembled, acrylic on 11″ x 14″ canvas, October 20, 2012

I actually stopped painting this over two weeks ago, but at the time felt like it still needed something…  Then I looked at it the other day and it definitely seemed done.  I knew this would happen, because it’s happened before.  I get to a point where I feel like a painting is almost done, but still needs something.  While I try to figure out what that something is — I was thinking a lizard or a yellow-headed poison dart frog in the upper right for this one — at some point before I do, it just seems done.  Completely done.

What is going on here?  This always makes me question my artistic judgment.  Did it really need something?  Or did it really not?  Does it really still need something and I’ve just gotten used to how it looks and can’t see that anymore?  Man, what a frustrating way to end a painting.  I mean, I like it now, but I’m left with these nagging, perhaps unresolvable, questions — wondering if it could be better.  Grrrr!

Anyway, about the painting.  “The Eleven Have Assembled.”  So we have 11 squares, assembled in this arrangement.  I thought wording the title that way lended it some import.  Wax resists, washes, washes, and more washes, then splashes, a rough masked and spray-painted border, and then the squares and their textures!  The blue squares are manganese blue mixed with light modeling paste.  The orange are fluorescent orange mixed with gel opaque.  You can see quite a difference in body between the two.  I made all the textures the same way with my trusty palette knife.  The modeling paste with the heavy body blue dried rough and sharp.  The gel opaque basically kept the texture but flowed a little smoother.  The orange paint does not declare a weight, but it’s runnier than heavy body yet thicker than soft bodied paints.  I should mix each paint with the other medium and see what happens.  🙂

I like the effect I got here with the gel opaque, but I’m basically disappointed with the stuff.  I got it from Utrecht.  I would think that a product named “gel opaque” would just turn transparent and translucent paints opaque.  I had read before that opaque mediums do lighten the paint a little, but this stuff whitens it as much as adding titanium white!   What then is the point of this?  Falsehood in advertizing if you ask me.  Apparently the point is to sell expensive medium.  So, I have the stuff now, so I’ll use it, but lets be honest — it’s really just a white gel medium.   Opaquing paint without lightening it would seem to be a holy grail of sorts…

I guess I can say I’ve finally done what I’ve been trying to do with blue and orange since at least July with small painting 22.  That’s a good thing.  🙂


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A year of painting and blogging!

Today I have been writing this blog for one year.  🙂  I started this to blog my paintings, suspecting that getting a little feedback on them would motivate me to keep me painting.  It worked!!  Moreover, I took Jim’s advice and decided to stick to a schedule of posting twice a week.  Though I did shift my original Tuesday/Friday schedule to Wednesday/Saturday, I still cannot believe I have actually posted twice a week — every week — for a full year.  Of course some posts have been… lackluster, but then I’ve also been surprised by which have been more popular.

So on this, the conclusion of year one, I want to sincerely thank all of you.  Thank you.  Thank you for visiting!  It’s not flattery — it’s straight truth when I tell you that it’s your comments and likes that keep the posts and paintings coming.  🙂

I want to especially thank Jenna, Marina, Dani, Joseph, and QueridaJ for all the artistic support and encouragement!  Thank you so much!  🙂

Here is a slideshow of the OMIGOD 61 paintings (mostly) I’ve completed this past year:

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Painting: Alizarin Yuck 2

Alizarin Yuck 2, acrylic on 11″ x 14″ canvas, October 22, 2012

There it is, the finished painting.  Here are the last few in-progress shots I hadn’t posted until now:

Added some black over the alizarin yuck. More than I intended to…

And the promised square!

It’s pretty much just an exploration into washes, drips, and palette knifed on paint.  But it was fun!  🙂


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